Access and Feeds

Navigating the Challenges that AI Poses to Data

By Dick Weisinger

It’s becoming increasingly clear that companies that harness the power of data are poised to thrive, while those lagging behind risk obsolescence. We are in the new age of data-driven decision-making, where artificial intelligence (AI) takes center stage.

Traditionally, business decisions were made based on gut instincts, intuition, and historical practices. However, the advent of AI has revolutionized this paradigm. Data-driven businesses now leverage AI tools like ChatGPT to inform their strategies, predict market trends, and enhance customer experiences.

But there are hiccups. Enter shadow AI—the clandestine use of AI tools within organizations. Imagine an employee deploying an AI assistant during a confidential client call without IT’s knowledge. Such unauthorized AI usage poses risks: data leakage, biased outputs, and regulatory noncompliance. Organizations must shine a light on shadow AI to protect sensitive information.

Some of the problems caused by the often well-intentioned “shadow” use of AI include:

  1. Data Leakage: LLMs (Large Language Models) can inadvertently spill sensitive data. Proper configuration and access controls are crucial to prevent accidental disclosures.
  2. Overly Permissive Configurations: LLMs should filter user inputs to avoid incorporating sensitive information into training data.
  3. Bias and Error: Biased or erroneous training data leads to biased AI outputs. Vigilance is essential to ensure fairness.

Governments worldwide recognize the need for responsible AI. The Bletchley Summit and the U.S. Executive Order emphasize safe AI development. The EU leads in regulation, with the EU AI Act focusing on consumer protection and risk-based classification.

AI is used widely for financial services, from anti-money laundering to credit modeling. However, the risks are real. The OWASP Top 10 for LLM Applications highlights vulnerabilities like data poisoning and sensitive information disclosure.

Going forward, organizations must:

  • Encrypt Data: Prepare data for AI safely.
  • Filter Inputs: Prevent sensitive information from infiltrating training data.
  • Address Bias: Ensure fair outputs.
  • Educate Employees: Promote responsible AI practices.

Data-driven decisions are the bedrock of success. By safeguarding data integrity, organizations can unlock AI’s potential while protecting their most valuable asset—information. Let us embrace AI responsibly, illuminating the shadows and shaping a brighter future for businesses and users alike.

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